Thursday, November 6, 2008

Family Matters

I don't often talk about my extended family here. It's just not what's on my radar. Anyhow, while I'm sad that my cousins and aunts and uncles, etc. live far away from me, it's partly easier that way. We're of fairly different positions politically and religiously, and it can be uncomfortable to have conversations on either topic in a family group.

My cousin sent this letter around to our family email loop, and I received her permission to spread it more widely. I don't think it's going to be something that many people around me physically would need to read, but it's a good reminder to me that I'm always modeling things by how I speak. Also I was so impressed by her graciousness and loving spirit that it made me miss those folks "back there" just a little bit more:

"Over the past few months, I have gotten to hear many people's thoughts and feelings about the recent Presidential election and why one candidate or another was the better choice. Even more often, I've gotten to hear why one candidate or another was the worst choice. Having the freedom to hold and voice our opinions and then vote based on those opinions is one of the many things that I believe makes America great.

I’ve also thought a lot about how my children and I fit into all of this.

Yesterday, my almost 12 year old daughter came home and told me that she was scared and worried because of the things kids at school were saying about Obama winning the presidential nomination. Among other things:

  • He’s for abortion and wants all babies killed
  • He’s going to pull all of the troops out of Iraq immediately and America will then be invaded by those our troops are fighting.
  • He belongs to some weird, scary religion and wasn’t even born in America. Where’s his birth certificate?

  • I tried to assuage her fears, but I’m not sure how effective I was since right now her peers are her most valuable source of information. Yes, these are just kids talking, but they’ve gotten this information from hearing the adults around them.

    Since neither of my girls was born in the US, they can’t at this time run for President, but what if one of them ran for another office. Think about some of the kinds of things that could be said which have been said recently about Obama:

    • Even though she is a citizen, she wasn’t born in America, so she’s not a real American.
    • She was born in China which is a communist country; therefore, she’s likely really loyal to China and communism. She also still has family members in China, whether she knows them or not, which is suspicious.
    • Part of her name is Chinese, so that also proves her loyalty to China.
    It makes me so sad to think that I can’t protect my children from hearing a lot of the things they are hearing right now and from personalizing some of it, but I really can’t.

    I know you all love my children and all of the other children in our family. I just hope that you love them enough to think before you speak. Eight years ago, my sister asked me to be respectful of our President and not to call him Shrub and I have honored that request. Now I ask the same. I don’t know if the right decision was made on Tuesday or not. For my children’s and all our children’s sakes, I hope so.


    Marce (BrownBerry) said...

    This kind of open discussion with a personal angle that we can all relate to is a great way to build a family's (or a community)'s spirit.

    Katherine said...

    Those poor kids. This country needs to heal quickly.

    Ruby Louise said...

    *Excellent*! Hopefully this will inspire a few folks to stretch their brains a bit and think before they speak. Perhaps the girls can do a little educating of their peers as well.

    *hugs* to all of them.